Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.
However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela. During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch’s identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her “marriage.”
Their journey to Gisela’s mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella’s daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.
When we think about civilian casualties of World War 2, we tend to think of the French, the Dutch, the Jewish, and others who were targeted by the Nazis. We forget that German civilians were also casualties. As the Red Army moved closer, and the country faced defeat, many ordinary Germans found themselves refugees trying to stay ahead of the Soviets. Daisies are Forever is a novel about some of these refugees.
Much of this book is about tragedy and uncertainty. Gisela has to keep her charges safe, but she rarely knows where to find shelter or food. She doesn’t know if she will see her family again and safe places aren’t guaranteed to remain safe. She’s also gathered an interesting bunch of characters, including two senile older ladies, a maimed but proud German soldier, and an escaped prisoner-of-war. Not everyone gets along. With each turn of the page there are new challenges to be faced, and the result is a dramatic and interesting read.
If there is a downside, it comes at the end. A dramatic event is the climax of the story. The novel then jumps a year for a brief epilogue. It left this inquisitive reader disappointed because I had questions regarding some of the information revealed in it. I wanted to know what happened during that missing year because it seemed some additional major emotional and dramatic events took place. To be honest, I felt a little shortchanged.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Litfuse for my complimentary copy of Daisies are Forever, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
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Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 06 May 2014
Page Count: 352